ZAMBOANGA CITY—The Department of Agrarian Reform has confirmed that some farmer-beneficiaries have sold the lands awarded them by the government through the agrarian reform program.
DAR regional director Felix Aguhob said around 1,000 farmer-beneficiaries have sold their lands for the period May 2015 to April 2016.
Aguhob said the figures were based on the number of transfer orders he had signed during the period. The lands are already in the process of being transferred to the buyers.
“These sales still happen because the beneficiaries run short of money. Sometimes there is sickness in the family. The reasons vary. I will not deny that farmers resort to selling their land.”
Aguhob said the farmer-beneficiaries who sold their lands have been disqualified from the government’s agrarian reform program.
He said the agency screened the buyers to determine if they were qualified to avail of the program and willing to continue the unsettled amortization of the previous farmer-beneficiaries.
Each of the farmer-beneficiaries of the agrarian reform program is awarded an average of 1.6 hectares of land to be amortized over 30 years.
The amount of monthly amortization depends on the price of the land awarded to them.
Meanwhile, Aguhob said his office provides assistance to discourage farmer-beneficiaries from selling the lands awarded to them. These include the provision of farm equipment and livelihood opportunities as well as the construction of farm-to-market roads.
“DAR is reaching out to our agrarian reform beneficiaries. I hope they will no longer sell the lands awarded to them. We are always here to help them make the lands more productive,” Aguhob said.